Connect with us

Caribbean News

Canada scales support to PAHO in COVID-19 response in the Caribbean



#Canada, April 2, 2021 – The Government of Canada announced it would contribute CAN$1,200,000 (approximately USD$950,000) to support the efforts of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) against COVID-19 in six Caribbean countries.

Several countries in the Caribbean are reporting a rise in COVID-related deaths – including a doubling of COVID-19 deaths in some islands. Many countries have begun. or will soon begin, rolling out vaccines to protect their populations.

The donation by the Canadian government will be used to acquire essential personal protection equipment, laboratory and medical equipment, as well as supplies to be used by health care workers and hospitals in the Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, as part of PAHO’s technical cooperation in the fight against the pandemic. It will also help strengthen communication efforts around public health risks, continued promotion of protective measures and community engagement.

“The pandemic is putting health care workers and systems of the countries in the Caribbean under great strain, which is why we are grateful to the Government of Canada for supporting COVID-19 treatment for countries in the Caribbean that are struggling due to the pandemic. Their contribution will help save lives and shows how we can all join forces in solidarity to defeat this virus,” said PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne.

This contribution is part of a 5-year subregional program between PAHO and Canada, which aims to reduce the heath consequence of emergencies and disasters in the Caribbean, through better preparedness and a more resilient health sector. It builds on the longstanding relationship between the organization and the Canadian government to strengthen health emergency risk management in the Region of the Americas. 

For over 30 years, Government of Canada has supported PAHO’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness, mitigation and response across Latin America and the Caribbean region. It also played a key role in the establishment of the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Framework adopted by CARICOM Member States, together with PAHO. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has donated over USD$8 million to support PAHO’s technical cooperation to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the Americas.

Canada’s Acting Senior Director for the Caribbean Regional Development Program, Ms. Jennifer Heys, said: “Even one year later, COVID-19 continues to challenge health systems across the Caribbean, and we continue to see the stark health and socioeconomic impacts this crisis is having on the Caribbean people. Canada is proud to partner with PAHO once again to provide additional much-needed medical equipment, supplies, and training to support the Caribbean countries that are facing the greatest health sector crisis from COVID-19.”

In the spirit of continuous collaboration and Pan American solidarity, the Canadian government and PAHO have been in conversations to keep addressing critical needs of Latin American and Caribbean countries to sustain the fight against COVID-19. As vaccine campaigns begin in many countries, there are still many challenges ahead which are best addressed collectively.

PAHO is the specialized health agency in the Americas and the Regional Office of WHO providing critical leadership, coordination and assistance to fight the spread of COVID-19, save lives, and protect the most vulnerable peoples in all 52 countries and territories of the Americas.

Caption:  Government of Canada contributes an additional CAN$1.2 million to PAHO aimed at providing essential equipment and supplies in the Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Caribbean News

Rich Nations told to pay for Climate Change, Mia Mottley bring another charged speech to World Leaders



By Shanieka Smith

Features Writer


#Barbados, June 25, 2022 – Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, unapologetically laid the blame for the climate crisis on wealthy nations.  She said it is long past time for them to compensate countries undergoing the effects of climate change.  Motley expressed her thoughts and made the request in New York, where she joined a panel on sustainable development at the Global Citizen NOW summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bill Nye.

“We’ve been carrying the costs on our balance sheet of your behaviour…”We’re not asking for the world.  We’re saying:  Look, put some money down and help us,” she said.

Barbados is battling rising sea levels, which threaten the water supply and encroach on coastal communities.  The World Health Organization has also warned that sea-level rise and changing weather could put immense pressure on freshwater resources.  However, this has not been a result of Barbados, which accounted for less than 0.01 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions in 2020.

Mottley expressed that the reason for the issues of climate change is the G20 nations, including the US, UK, China, Russia and the EU.  The countries that have released the vast majority of the emissions heating the planet.

“That’s what”s put us in this position,” she said.

To emphasize the effects of climate change on the island, she added, “Can you imagine going to a restaurant next to a place full of sargassum seaweed smelling?”  “You’re not gonna go!”

Meanwhile, the heavy polluters are better equipped to deal with the consequences of climate change, and smaller developing nations in the Caribbean are forced to battle climate extremes with very few resources.

“It would be not so bad if we had 25, 30 years to adapt.  Instead, we’ve got 12-13 years, according to everyone,” she said.  This is approximately 144 months.

Motley said that mitigating the issue is not simple and that it comes with obstacles like Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine. She said, however, that we have to “push past the pain.”

She added, “the issue is, will we get there fast enough to save those of us on the front line?”

Continue Reading

Caribbean News

138 illegals add to the over 900 migrants captured by TCI Joint Forces




#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre and partners continue to work together to protect our borders and keep TCI secure.

During the evening of Wednesday 22nd June 2022 the RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre identified a target of interest and immediately started to track the vessel around 5 miles North West of Providenciales travelling at around 7 knots.

The operator immediately updated colleagues within the Royal Turks and Caicos Marine Branch who made their way to the location and intercepted a vessel containing irregular migrants. Following a delicate, coordinated operation with the necessary stabilization of the vessel which was unsafe, severely overcrowded and the occupants were without life vests, the RTCIPF Marine Unit was joined by a second RTCIPF Marine crew and a third vessel crewed with TCI Regiment to support the delicate operation.

The vessel was carefully offloaded at sea to ensure the safety of the occupants and then the boat was towed to South Dock where it arrived around 4:45am with a total of 138 persons, 98 males and 40 female including 1 juvenile, who were then taken into custody by the Immigration Department. One male needed immediate medical attention in relation to a leg injury sustained.

Superintendent Martyn Ball said, “Again working with partners we have safely intercepted another vessel that was desperately overcrowded, unsafe and risked the lives of those on board. It continues to demonstrate the professionalism and dedication of the RTCIPF Marine Unit, working together with colleagues in the Marine Operations Centre, TCI Regiment, TCI Immigration and Health to save lives and keep our borders here in the Turks and Caicos Islands safe.

In the last couple of months over 900 individuals on 9 dangerous and unseaworthy vessels have been intercepted here in the TCI.

I would appeal to anyone if you have any information relating to such activity that you call CrimeStoppers free and anonymously on 1-800-8477, not only will you be saving lives but also supporting our national security here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”



Continue Reading

Caribbean News

International joint forces seize $99 Million in Cocaine in Caribbean Sea



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


The US Coast Guard, and ships from the Netherlands made drug busts in the Caribbean Sea over the last few weeks resulting in a cumulative seizure of 5,237 pounds of cocaine.  The Coast Guard says the illegal narcotics which were offloaded at Base Miami Beach last Friday value $99 million.

The drugs were seized in the international waters of the Caribbean Sea by crews from: Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Friesland, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Groningen.

Coast Guard Commanding officer of the Thetis, which transferred the drugs to the base in Miami, Justin Nadolny praised the partnership between themselves and the Netherlands which led to the massive seizure.

“Interdicting drug traffickers on the open ocean is challenging work and every interdiction is complex and unique,” he said. “This offload is a testament to the teamwork and devotion of every crew assigned to carry out this mission, and it showcases the strength of the valuable international partnerships united to combat transnational organized crime.  The fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation.”
The Turks and Caicos also have an agreement with the US Coast Guard signed in recent months which allows for tighter partnerships between the two countries (and the Bahamas) in the fight against illegal migration and drug trafficking in the county’s waters.

Continue Reading